Kenyans will soon head to the polls to elect a new President. Elections have always been a delicate moment for the country, sparking fierce contestations. With sitting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s exit, the choice will fall between the two main candidates, current Vice President, William Ruto, and Raila Odinga, who has received the endorsement of the outgoing President. The race is as tight as ever.
On July 25th, exactly a year after President Kais Saïed’s power grab, Tunisians will take to the polls to vote in a referendum on a new constitution. The proposed national charter will likely expand the President’s powers, raising questions over the country’s future institutional architecture and checks and balances system.
The war in Ukraine is further diverting US attention from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where Russia and China have expanded their footprint over the past decade. US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East—his first since he took office—provides an opportunity to assess the kind of role the United States will play in the MENA region in the future. Is a post-US era about to begin in the region? What is changing in the regional order?
For several months, the international community seemed to have forgotten Libya and the decade-long instability that has been ravaging the largest energy-exporting country in North Africa since 2011. Until last Friday, when a group of protesters stormed the parliament building in the eastern city of Tobruk, while other demonstrations spread across all the main cities.
At the NATO Summit
2022 marks the 20th anniversary since the launch of the African Union, an increasingly relevant voice within the international community and a key player for regional integration and economic development in Africa. A crucial step towards reducing the continent’s fragmentation was the 2021 inauguration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an ambitious initiative with the potential to integrate a continental market of over one billion consumers.
The war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy decoupling between Brussels and Moscow represent the greatest challenge so far vis-à-vis Europe’s green transition. Not only has the conflict highlighted how fossil fuels are still essential to power EU industries and day-to-day life, but the scramble for alternative sources has also diverted valuable resources from investment in renewables, forcing the Union to draft contingency plans.
Sanctions to Russia forbidding the import of dual-use technology have highlighted the importance of reliable supply chains and strategic autonomy in high-tech sectors. The quest for this digital sovereignty has led the EU to recently announce a Strategic Compass to better coordinate its capacity building in the physical and digital spheres. Brussels has also launched the European Chips Act to become a leading player in the semiconductor industry. Are these initiatives enough to better position the European Union in the global technological competition?
Capacity building is an approach intrinsically related to diplomatic practices. According to the United Nations, it aims at improving multilateralism by drawing from different capabilities across various areas of interests to enhance cooperation among countries with the purpose of ensuring international peace, security, and stability.
In the Gulf monarchies, power is still highly centralized and personalized. However, policy-making is no longer exclusively centred around royal families, religious establishments, and traditional bureaucracies. Indeed, the post-hydrocarbon transition reveals the significant presence — besides that of rulers — of national technocrats, non-royal elites, diplomats, and experts.